The Worst Professional Jargon Examples: 3 Tips for Effective Communications

By Gerard Braud, CSP, Fellow IEC

People hate jargon.

Employees hate jargon.

Customers hate jargon.

People love to make fun of jargon and most have a hit list of phrases, clichés, and abbreviations that they hate. I invite you to add a list of the ones you hate in the comment section below.

I introduced, “The Worst Speech in the World” to show how crazy jargon gets.

This is not the usual keynote speech I deliver, but I could likely write a customized speech just like this for every association, conference, and convention from New Orleans to New York.

So why does your CEO, VP, or manager use jargon?

Why do your work colleagues use jargon?

Here are some observations:

1) Many executives, business coaches, business trainers, and authors are looking for a profound phrase or expression. The “sticky” phrases get repeated by people who want to share what they learn from the coach, trainer, or author.

2) The world is full of copycats who use copycat clichés. For many, it might be laziness or a time saver, to simply lift phrases they’ve heard all of their lives.

3) No one has taught the person using the cliché, especially in a speech, that originality is more profound then mimicking someone else. We can usually chalk this up to the speaker not having a speech or communications coach and trying to wing it.

In conclusion, analogies are great. Use them with sensitivity, such as avoiding the phrase, “open kimono.”

Make your analogies original. People love original thoughts and ideas.

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